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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages" or "Code Unknown" or "Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys")

directed by Michael Haneke
France 1990

One of the world’s most influential and provocative filmmakers, the Academy Award–winning Austrian director Michael Haneke diagnoses the social maladies of contemporary Europe with devastating precision and staggering artistry. His 2000 drama Code Unknown, the first of his many films made in France, may be his most inspired work. Composed almost entirely of brilliantly shot, single-take vignettes focusing on characters connected to one seemingly minor incident on a Paris street, Haneke’s film—with an outstanding international cast headlined by Juliette Binoche—is a revelatory take on racial inequality and the failure of communication in today’s increasingly diverse European landscape.

***

Aptly subtitled "Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys," the fifth feature by Austrian director Michael Haneke (2000, 117 min.), his best to date, is a procession of long virtuoso takes that typically begin and end in the middle of actions or sentences, constituting not only an interactive jigsaw puzzle but a thrilling narrative experiment comparable to Alain Resnais' Je t'aime, je t'aime, Jacques Rivette's Out 1, and Rob Tregenza's Talking to Strangers. The film's second episode is a nine-minute street scene involving an altercation between an actress (Juliette Binoche in a powerful performance), her boyfriend's younger brother, an African music teacher who works with deaf-mute students, and a woman beggar from Romania; the other episodes effect a kind of narrative dispersal of these characters and some of their relatives across time and space.

- Excerpt of Jonathan Rosenbaum's review from the Chicago Reader, full review HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: May 19, 2000 - France

Reviews                                                                     More Reviews                                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Kino - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Kino on Video

Region 1  - NTSC

Artificial Eye Film Company
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #780 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 1:52:04 (4% PAL speedup) 1:52:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:57:18.072
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.87 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.51 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,652,398,692 bytes

Feature: 32,467,955,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Kino

 

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 

French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 

DTS-HD Master Audio French 4038 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4038 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, (non removable) English, and none English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (4:3 widescreen)
• Trailer advertisements

DVD Release Date: August 6th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:55)
• Making of documentary (27:25)
• Introduction by Michael Haneke (4:27)
• Filming the Boulevard (11:29)
• Filmographies
• Director's statement (text)

DVD Release Date: November 19, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 46

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,652,398,692 bytes

Feature: 32,467,955,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• New interview with Haneke (28;34)
• Introduction by Haneke from 2001 (4:28)
• Filming Haneke, a 2000 making-of documentary featuring interviews with Haneke, actor Juliette Binoche, and producer Marin Karmitz, as well as on-set footage of cast and crew
Interview from 2001 (11:29) in which Haneke discusses the filming of the boulevard sequences (27:26)
• New interview with film scholar Roy Grundmann (23:47)
• 3 Teasers (1:33, 1:30, 1:50)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Nick James

Blu-ray Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Transparent Keep case

Chapters: 15

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray October 15': To think we existed on these muddy SD transfers years ago. Wow. The new 1080P of Haneke's Code inconnu is way beyond my expectations. It is described as a "new, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Michael Haneke." Detail comes alive with depth and tighter, richer colors - more information in the frame and an, overall, stunning upgrade. The old SDs comparatively look like there was Vaseline smeared in the lens. We get a wonderful film-like image (shot in 35mm) on a dual-layered BD disc with a very high bitrate. My words can't speak louder than the screen captures below.

The audio is not to be outdone - Criterion use a very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 (24-bit) at 4038 kbps in the original French. Yes, the drums are thunderous and all the film's sounds from subtle to overt are rich, deep and... perfect via the uncompressed. The score is credited to Giba Gonçalves - founder of Batala in Paris in 1997. Described, by Wikipedia , as a Bahian percussionist with links to Ilê Aiyê, Olodum, Muzenza, Male Debale, Jimmy Cliff, Tupi Nago, and Kaoma. Batala currently has chapters in over 25 cities in 15 countries on 5 continents and a worldwide membership of over 1,000 percussionists. It sounds very impressive - in fact, I replayed the final sequence - simply for the sound quality. Criterion add optional English subtitles ion their region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Criterion add quite a few important extras starting with a 5-minute introduction by Haneke from 2001 - as found on the Artificial Eye DVD - as is the almost 1/2 hour Filming Haneke, 2000 making-of documentary featuring interviews with Haneke, actor Juliette Binoche, and producer Marin Karmitz, as well as on-set footage of cast and crew. I had not seen the 2001 12-minute interview from 2001 in which Haneke discusses the filming of the boulevard sequences. new and produced by Criterion are a 29-minute interview with Haneke conducted in Windigsteig, Austria in August 2015. It has English subtitles. Also by Criterion is a new, 24-minute, interview with film scholar Roy Grundmann, editor of A Companion to Michael Haneke, and was conducted in Boston in August of 2015. There are three 'Teasers' for Code Unknown and the package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Nick James.

Brilliant film. Brilliant package. Our very highest recommendation. If you had only seen this on DVD - it will be like seeing the film for the first time with the powerful a/v experience. Order with extreme confidence.

***

DVD Review: I don't have to much to add to what Donald says in his review HERE

"This (The Artificial Eye) is a port of the French mk2 DVD. It's a crisp anamorphic transfer with moderate film grain and slightly cool colors; there are no blemishes to the print apart from rare instances of dust spots. The extras are very good, especially the Making Of documentary, which reveals the care and attention to detail put into the film. This is no doubt better than the Region 1 edition by Kino, reviews of which indicate it's non-anamorphic, suffers from print damage, and is a PAL-to-NTSC transfer."

 - Donald Brown

The bitrate does indicate that the Kino was taken from a PAL source and examples of the "ghosting" are below. The Kino is also badly cropped on the left edge. Everything is superior on the Artificial Eye, and this is obviously our overwhelming recommendation.

NOTE: Some individuals without incremental zoom on their DVD have noticed the subtitles drift below grade on the Artificial Eye disc. Be warned.

 - Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

Check out more in "The Library"


Menus

(Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle sample

 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

NOTE: 'Ghosting' apparent on the Kino dvd


1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

More Criterion Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

 

Image:

 Blu-ray

Sound:

 Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Kino on Video

Region 1  - NTSC

Artificial Eye Film Company
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #780 - Region 'A' Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze